Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Glasses, Cups Saucers.
We enjoy a cup of tea in the garden. These cups seem to make the tea taste just right.
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Glasses, Cups Saucers.
We enjoy a cup of tea in the garden. These cups seem to make the tea taste just right.
I love the idea of Simple Things.
Like a little Super Fairy Wren looking for a snack
A row of chairs in a church in Verona
An old tap the one day may be turned on again in Venice
A blue bottle left on a plinth with blue graffiti in Bologna
Chimney pots in Paris
Days end in a cafe in my home town
Or the Simple Thing of finding that place to have a rest in my garden
Look at the Simple Things that other have found
April. An Autumn month where the hot days give way to warm days, a hint of rain and cool nights. Migratory birds stop off, some plants flower and the weather is great for getting into the garden.
My garden helpers. Well maybe not all the time but they can help out with the insect control. They are constantly digging somewhere.
The end of March saw floods around the region and as a result, the floodwaters that entered the ocean caused the beaches to become foamy wonders. Here is a selection of the water at Sharpes Beach near Ballina.
I love the structural shapes in cacti
Some cacti were flowering
Other flowers bloomed in their own showy way. The camellias were beautiful this year.
Other flowers were just as spectacular
The Hibiscus is one of my favourites
The deep red of the Dahlia is stunning
The bees are loving the Pentas.
The fungi were everywhere in March but now just the few last fungi are popping up here and there. This is a wonderful pink fungi.
It looks almost planetary from the top don’t you think?
On a young eucalypt I found this amazing growth which I was informed is called Witches Broom. The ants seem to enjoy scurrying over it.
I have had a visitor in my house since early this year. She has been moving from room to room but has moved into the laundry. She is the biggest Huntsman Spider I have ever seen. When she stretches her legs she has a 16cm span. How big is your hand?
One day out in the garden, I dug out some old plants and also dug out a spider. At first I thought it was a Funnel Web Spider but it was a Mouse Spider. Both species of spider are quite venomous. It was too fussed about being disturbed.
The Line Blue Butterfly stopped for a rest on the hanging pot support.
The Eastern Yellow Robins have been zooming around the garden chasing one another. The female Robin sat on the bush just outside of the window. I think she was looking in the window.
The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have returned for the winter.
The Plumed Whistling-Ducks have also come to rest for a while. I found a large flock in Waterview Heights, a outer suburb of Grafton. They were walking up and down the edge of a dam, chatting among themselves.
The ever present Kookaburra is not far away when I am digging in the garden, either sitting in a tree or like this bloke, on a fence post.
That was a bit of Bushboys World in April. Hope you liked stopping by.
March was a month of contrasts, a couple of hot days followed by a bit of rain and then Cyclone Debbie came along. I was fortunate not to be in the path of Debbie but on the edge of the system. I missed the strong winds and abundant rainfall. I still managed to have 476mls of rain for March. This rainfall ended the long dry period over Summer when usually the rains come. The total rainfall for March exceeded the total rainfall for the 6 months prior.
The few dry day did allow for some wandering about and finding some interesting stuff. The weather also bought out a good variety of fungi which have their own blog.
So onward to the stuff of March.
Isn’t this little boat the cutest?
The flood waters made the creeks run and the creek at Emerald Beach broke through the sand and flowed to the sea. The strong tannin coloured water gave the rocks an interesting hue.
Rust. As you know I love rust, the colours and textures rust gives to metal.
More rust on the fence around the riverbank park in Grafton.
In Lismore, wandering the back lanes I came across this furnace door that is still in operation at the rear of a cafe.
One of the treasures of Lismore is the street art in the back lanes. The recent flooding of Lismore didn’t damage most of the art works although some may need a bit of a clean and touch up. The following selection is from just one lane way.
The art on the door is perhaps a portend.
The fish managed to swim out the flood waters I am told.
I love this ghostly face.
The butterflies in the rainforest.
Speaking of butterflies, I just love photographing butterflies. Of course many a while is spent chasing them around trying to get THAT capture. The Common Yellow butterfly seemed to enjoy time on the ground.
The Small Green-banded Blue butterfly kept trying to hide from me.
I haven’t had such a variety of flies at my place or perhaps I haven’t really taken a close look at them. The yellow face and bottle green body look great.
The green eyes are striking. The long proboscis also lets this fly give you a very sharp sting.
This beautiful Huntsman spider lived in my house for around two months. She has now gone outside I think as I haven’t seen her for a couple of days. Her leg span from front to back or side to side is 16cm. Her body length is 5cm. How big is your hand?
The Fire-wheel trees are flowering.
I have a number of Golden Lycras that my aged neighbour loved. He gave me lots of corms and this year they flowered the best ever. They gave me lovely memories of him. The view from the top.
They looked so lovely in the morning sun.
This Hibiscus was in my parents place and the cutting has lived on at my place filled with abundant flowers this Autumn.
The miniature Hibiscus adds small red spots in the garden
One of the original Hibiscus. This one is in my besties garden. Such a delicate flower. The petals almost look transparent.
Another tiny native flower that I have found around my property. The flower is about 12mm across so imagine the size of the insect that was getting some nectar or pollen.
The Bromiliads had a good flowering this March. They gathered enough water that’s for sure.
I hadn’t seen white Crocus before. Stunning flowers aren’t they?
I have loved the colours of Coleus since I first saw them in my grandfathers garden.
The rain has revived the Lichen.
Wandering around the garden looking for snacks, the Bar-shouldered Dove and Emerald Dove shared the space.
A little Jacky Winter enjoying the morning sun.
The Brown Pigeon sat in the Poinsettia striking a lovely pose.
Not the best angle for a Blue-faced Honeyeater though.
The little Forest Kingfisher sat in the tree looking about then suddenly plunged to the ground. When he resumed his perch, he did the bash bash on the branch to tenderise his snack. It looks like he managed to find a frog in the garden.
The Forest Kingfisher has beautiful colours don’t you think?
Thanks for taking the time to have a look at my March.
It is a rainy day here due to Cyclone Debbie, luckily I am on the edge and only have rain and not the destructive winds so far.
Inspired by Paula’s Thursday’s Special Challenge Illusions, I grabbed my camera, changed some settings and took the following photos, two from the verandah and the other my hallway.
The shed which used to be my daughters play house I built year ago.
The garden seat
My decorations in the hallway
I certainly had fun on a rainy day
THE HOT SUMMERS DAYS are here and the lack of consistent rainfall has sapped my energy causing me to be indoors more often than out in the biting rays of the Sun.
However I did get out and about and went to the Bangalow Markets hoping for some photographic inspiration. There was a bit of action but on the whole my mojo wasn’t there.
The colours did grab my attention.
In some part of my besties garden, the flowers are always around. There is more rainfall and cooler weather there. I was taken by the red flower buds getting ready to burst forth.
Back in my garden the storms gave relief to the plants with a Murraya sending out its perfumed blossoms.
I love the Hibiscus schizopetalus. The flowers hang down from the long stems and dance in the breeze.
The small amounts of rain and a bit of hot weather has made a fungi or two pop out of the soil. This one was the biggest I have seen for a long while. I didn’t know what to use to show its size but a brick came in handy
It looked just as amazing from beneath as well.
It may be Summer but the Teak Tree has decided that it is time to lose its leaves making the garden have a temporary Autumn feel.
Summer time and the wasps are constructing their nests from chewed wood giving them a papery look, hence the name Paper Wasps. Unfortunately these are under the gutter at my besties and will have to go. When I had a bloke doing some building work at my place, he managed to disturb a nest and was stung on his ear and back. They chased him as he ran away from the nest. Paper Wasps in the bush are OK but around the house they have to move on.
Even though it is hot, early morning and late in the day, the butterflies are about. I think this is a Skipper whose wings have seen better days.
The Caper Whites are still around but no where near the numbers of late Spring.
Here is a large horse fly Triclista singularis’ These fly slowly with a loud buzzing and we gave them the nickname of B52s. When they do land and bite you really know it. This is the biggest fly around my place, around 25mm. It is rather pretty for a fly.
I noticed movement in the kitchen on a potted begonia I found a Praying Mantis. He hung around the kitchen for a few days before going outside. Fearsome looking but quite friendly.
The Yellow-faced Honeyeater looked pleased with itself as it puffed out its chest.
The constant calls of the Bar-shouldered Dove ring around the garden as they sit high among the trees.
They have a pink ring around their eyes which I hadn’t noticed before.
I love the feather patterns on the Little Wattlebird
There is a queue at the bird bath waiting for their turn.
A return visitor to the garden is a lovely little Forest Kingfisher. The orange spots stand out as does the wonderful white chest.
He was so obliging to turn around to show the striking blue feathers. When flying about the garden the flashes of blue catch the eye.
I hope the hot weather soon abates and February brings more things for me to share with you.
One morning, a Red-necked Wallaby Joey and his Mum were enjoying the garden. When all of a sudden the Joey decided it was time to climb out of Mum’s pouch and test out his hopping skills to see how fast he could get around the garden.
“Hey Mum, I think I might go for a very fast hop over there.”
“I better check out what’s around just in case.”
“Maybe I’ll hop over that way”
“No…..I’m going to hop really fast this way”
“Mum…..Mum….watch me go Mum”
“Watch out for your tail Mum ‘cos here I come.”
And like a rocket, the Joey came hurtling back to Mum.
“Hey Mum, that was fun!”
“Yes dear, you really can hop fast.”
The last photos of December 2016 are nearly all birds. The weather was still hot and the bird baths proved to be a winner with all the birds who are staying around here. The cool of the forest also helps. The birds come into the garden from the forest in the cool of the morning and in the cool of the evening.
Sometimes you just have to fully immerse to get the benefits of cool water. I think this was a female Scarlet Honeyeater diving in deep into the very popular hanging pot.
This bloke was thinking about the bird bath and whether it was worth going in.
The Brown Honeyeater contemplates his dive into the bird bath.
And in he goes. What a splash for a small bird.
Not to be outdone, the tiny Striated Thornbill took the plunge and created a big splash.
The group shot of the Striated Thornbills after their bath. One of my cutest photos ever don’t you think?
On a hot day everyone arrives to get a drink. It’s heads down, bums up for the Rainbow Lorikeets.
The Rainbow Lorikeets are a noisy lot, always having something to say, even if a mate lands on your branch.
The Grey-crowned Babbler seems to defy gravity as it hopped up the Tallowwood.
Once the Grey-crowned Babblers found a good spot to get a feed, the project started. There is always someone ready to give a hand.
They almost have a large piece of bark ripped from the tree.
Every morning I am woken to the beautiful song of a Rufous Whistler. As I walked around the garden watering those plants who were in need the most, the Whistler seemed to follow me.
I bought a Hydrangea last year and have kept it in a pot on the verandah. In December I was rewarded with a beautiful pink flower. You can just see the flower of a White Hydrangea which I bought this year with flowers already on the small bush.
That is the last of 2016. Now to start to sort the first photos of 2017. Happy New Year everyone.
Another hot day has made me think it will be better being inside rather than the baking sun out there. At the moment there is thunder rumbling about. But that happened last night and didn’t result in rain. I hope this lot will as it is dry as anything here.
This is the third year of lower than average rainfall. There has been enough to keep the water tanks topped up but the dams are either empty or very low. The main dam I use for watering the house gardens is about one third full so it is rationing the water to the plants in pots first and then the new plantings (planted in the hope of rain).
From there I feel like the bad parent and water the plants that look like they need water more and the others are left to fend for themselves. Most are OK and I have only lost one or two plants although they may surprise and send out shoots when the rains come.
I am always putting water into the bird baths which is appreciated by the birds who come to my garden for a drink. The hanging pot is usually a favourite for the small birds. Once when I was watering the plants, a White-throated Honeyeater sat in a branch near the hanging pot and almost seemed to say “How about you top up the hanging pot so we can get a drink.” After putting some water into the pot, about 4 or 5 of its mates went to the pot for a drink.
Sometimes a bigger bird will also like to have a drink like this Little Friarbird.
The hanging pot is the best place to get a drink. The female Scarlet Honeyeaters are regular visitors.
The male Scarlet Honeyeaters seem to get on when there’s a drink involved.
This young one waited until everyone else had gone before venturing in for a drink.
Another place to get a drink is an old wheelbarrow which collects water from the car port roof when it rains. Some of the birds love it as it is in shade in the afternoon. You may have seen previous photos of the Spangled Drongos and Friarbirds over there. This time the Lewins Honyeater and the White-throated Honeyeater had a bit of a squabble about who should drink and bathe in the wheelbarrow bird bath.
In early December the lovely Satin Flycatchers drop in for a few days.
The Square-tailed Kites are often harassed by the nearby nesting Friarbirds when they take off from their nest to go and get food for the young ones. I haven’t been able to see the young ones yet but both parents have been busting getting food and coming back to the nest. This Friarbird got very up close and personal.
But eventually the Kite wheeled around and headed off on its mission.
Soon it was circling around getting higher and higher showing its wonderful wing feathers.
Meanwhile, back at my besties bird bath the normally sleek looking Red-browed Finch was looking rather ruffled.
The sounds of Summer in Australia are the Cicadas. There are Cicada shells on most tree trunks or posts and like this one, under the leaf of a Frangipanni.
The Dragonflies are constantly zipping about the garden. This dragonfly seemed to really like the stick and sat there for quite a while.
Everyday there is the buzz of the Blue-banded Bees as the source out the meager flower offerings in the garden.
A new visitor to the garden at the end of November was the Common Albatross Butterfly. There was only 1 or 2, nowhere as many as the Caper Whites.
I have fallen in love with photographing the Caper White Butterflies as they feed on the Pentas. Knowing they will soon be gone, I have been getting some nice photographs while I can.
In this close-up, you can almost see the scales on the wings.
I saw a Painted lady on the road as I walked down the drive to the house and suddenly she flew up and disappeared. It took a while to find where she had taken refuge in the rough bark of the Red Ironbark.
Even butterflies have to do it. These little Lineblue Butterflies even flew about the garden locked together.
Perhaps because it has been so dry, the Agapanthus bloomed so well this year. Spots of blues and whites are dotting the garden.
The Frangipannis are just starting to bloom so this year I am going to take notice of the colours I have planted in the garden.
The shed down the back has these frosted glass casement window I bought when I first moved onto the bush block. They were used in the first shed/house I built and now are in another shed that is underway. As I walked about the garden, it seemed as though someone was watching me. I saw this “face” in the window.
Remember the last blog. I said I was going to try and get a photo of the verandah skinks face. Well he sat long enough in the morning sunshine for me to get a photo. Always try to deliver lol.
I love it when I have a mixed lot of photos I have taken. This blog does contain a lot of birds and things that have been previously in past blogs but they keep doing things that are different or I just like the photo and hope you do too. There is one photo that has something different from the usual photos, can you spot it?
The weather over winter and early spring has been dry with some hot days and some windy days. Since 1 August to end of October there only a couple of days where there was good rainfall, but only 14 days of rain over 3 months. Some of the flowering plants have enjoyed the dry. This year the bottlebrushes and paperbarks have had the best flowering ever.
One of the things I like to photograph is when I can see faces in things. These are a couple I have seen lately. Can you see the faces too? The first on was taken at the beach during a walk after a North Coast Landcare get together.
Can you see a dog?
Sometimes the faces can seem rather scary. I had a feeling that someone was watching me.
The Red-necked Wallabies have had a bumper Joey season this year, so it may indicate that the grass in the paddocks will soon turn green and there will be a good summer. These two were eating beside the veranda where there are patches of feed. The Joey may be too big for the pouch but still likes to get a drink from Mum.
One plant that has had a fabulous flowering this year has been the Native Frangipanni. The birds and insects are always around the tree in the early morning and late evening.
My besties garden always has flowers as the rainfall there is much better than at my place. I love the way that this flower seems to explode towards you.
The colours of this small flower are stunning adding a splash of colour throughout the garden.
My hanging pot of bromeliads have never had so many of these striking red flowers. I counted six flowers around the hanging pot. Yes that is a bird’s nest I found on the ground and was placed in the pot.
I wanted a few flowers around and planted some Alyssum seeds and they all came up giving cascades of white flowers from the many pots they were planted in. There were bees and this Hover Fly (I think) buzzing around. What a golden coloured fly!!!
Other visitors to the Alyssum flowers were small butterflies. I managed to get a photo of the Ochre Butterfly before is zoomed off to another flower in the garden.
You can see how dry the ground was when I took a photo of a Meadow Argus. They prefer to land on the ground. The underside of their wings seem fluffy and dull…..
….but the inside wings are very colourful.
In late October the Caper White Butterflies started to fly through my place on their migration to SE Queensland. They have been constantly been in the garden since then. The Pentas is a great butterfly attracting bush.
While walking around Grafton we spied some bee activity around a large Camphor Laurel. I am glad they were too busy to notice me trying to get some photos. When we went back a couple of weeks later there weren’t many bees around at all. Sadly I suspect the Council may have sprayed the nest.
The coming of warm days brings out the insects. There are a good number of varieties of flys at the moment. This brown fly spent some time walking around the rim of the jug on the window sill.
While this insect preferred the window to walk about.
The garden also has its share of insects and bugs. I love the colours on this beetle, don’t you?.
The Dragonflies are swooping around the garden and the dams. This is the blue variety. I think will do a blog just on Dragonflies as I have some other varieties.
I just had to include another White-throated Honeyeater and the hanging watering come small bird birdbath pot. He looks to be saying “Ok mate, where’s my water!!!”
On the walk along the beach I spotted some birds sitting on some rock off the shore. The Pied Cormorants were doing their washing.
Here is bird number 91 I have identified on my place. (I say “I” but has been a team effort from lots of people in my network.) The Common Bronzewing was just strolling along but I managed to get a not very good photo.
Back at the beach walk, on the way down to the beach through the dune I saw a New Holland Honeyeater gathering material for the nest.I’m sure the spider didn’t mind a bit of web taken.
Isn’t it funny how birds can have their heads looking back. The Brown Pigeon was certainly keeping an eye on me.
Amongst the vegetation, chit chatting away the Eastern Whipbird foraged for insects. Their distinctive whip crack call (from You Tube by Linda Hansbauer) many people know but when they are on the ground bustling about the have an insane cackle going on.
The most elusive bird at my besties is the Green Catbird and I am always excited when I find a Catbird amongst the foliage.
In Spring, the Figbirds arrive at my place. Late one afternoon I found this pair cosying up for the night among the branches of the fig tree.
Of course you have seen lots of Blue-faced Honeyeaters on the Honey Gem Grevillea in my previous blogs but the way they can have a snack upside down always fascinates me.
The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is contemplating the first flower on a Grevillea I planted a few years ago. I will have to try to find out the name of this Grevillea.
The Tawny Frogmouth (or it may be a Marbled Frogmouth) has the most basic of nests. Just a few twigs thrown onto a flattish spot in a tree. This bird hatched two babies.
Late in the evening, a walk along the shore at Ballina saw many pelicans coming in to roost. First stopping on the light post to make sure the fishermen weren’t cleaning their catch. It’s almost time to go….
…..the moon is up casting a glow so I must be off. See you next time.
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